MARTIN KEOWN: Eddie Howe could be Newcastle United’s savior

MARTIN KEOWN: Only one side has gone winless in their first 13 Premier League games and survived… but Eddie Howe could be Newcastle United’s savior

  • Only Derby in 2001 went winless in their first 13 games and survived
  • Newcastle United are in a dangerous position for their game with Arsenal
  • They also have huge matches against Norwich and Burnley to watch
  • Newcastle just need to win if they want to get themselves out of trouble



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Nothing but one side have gone winless in their first 13 Premier League games and have survived – Derby County in 2001.

Newcastle United are in a precarious position. Failing to win at Arsenal and they are also 13th, with massive matches against Norwich and Burnley to follow. These are games Newcastle just need to win to get out of trouble.

Toon Army believers have already gotten a taste of the other direction Eddie Howe wants them to take. In Steve Bruce’s last game in charge, Newcastle collected a single shot on target. In Howe’s first, there were nine on target and 23 in all. They crossed the ball more than in any other game this season and came out ahead in numbers.

Only one side has gone winless in their first 13 Premier League games and survived - Derby County in 2001 (above)

Only one side has gone winless in their first 13 Premier League games and survived – Derby County in 2001 (above)

Newcastle United (above) are in a dangerous position for their game with Arsenal

Newcastle United (above) are in a dangerous position for their game with Arsenal

Newcastle United (above) are in a dangerous position for their game with Arsenal

How has not had time to work well with his new players after testing positive for Covid. That’s a shame for him, because as the man in charge of England’s only winless squad in the top four, he knows there’s plenty to fix.

Howe has already told his players to see more of the ball. Against Brentford last week, Newcastle had more than 50 percent possession in a match for the first time since August. That doesn’t mean we should expect them to appear at the Emirates Stadium and suddenly dominate.

Newcastle’s primary game plan against Arsenal will be to make themselves hard to beat, but to take joy in using Allan Saint-Maximin during the break.

The Toon fans have already got a taste of the direction Eddie Howe wants to take them

The Toon fans have already got a taste of the direction Eddie Howe wants to take them

The Toon fans have already got a taste of the direction Eddie Howe wants to take them

In Steve Bruce's last game in charge, Newcastle collected a single shot on target.  In Howe's first there were nine on target and 23 in total

In Steve Bruce's last game in charge, Newcastle collected a single shot on target.  In Howe's first there were nine on target and 23 in total

In Steve Bruce’s last game in charge, Newcastle collected a single shot on target. In Howe’s first there were nine on target and 23 in total

No Premier League player has carried the ball further than him this season. He carries, creates, assists and scores.

Howe described Jonjo Shelvey as an “incredible technician” in his press conference, highlighting him as someone who can play passes all over the field. He will want Shelvey to apply that range of passing that he noticed in practice in the actual match and playing at Saint-Maximin.

For example, Newcastle want to punish an Arsenal team that learned a lesson from Liverpool last week.

Jürgen Klopp’s players are experts at smothering the opposition by pressing high on the pitch, and Mikel Arteta’s determination to play from behind was punished at Anfield.

How has already told his players to see more of the ball moving forward

How has already told his players to see more of the ball moving forward

How has already told his players to see more of the ball moving forward

They lacked composure and confidence and it screamed like an accident waiting to happen against a press as outstanding as Liverpool’s. In the end, Nuno Tavares lost possession in front of the Arsenal box to concede the second of their four goals.

It was a difficult afternoon for Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga, who did not cope well with the pressure they were facing. They are young and will learn.

Now it’s about how she and the team bounce back.

Arsenal cannot derail that defeat. Arteta will call on his side to respond and make Newcastle’s woes at the bottom of the Premier League even worse.

Howe will also try to get the most out of star player Allan Saint-Maximin during the break

Howe will also try to get the most out of star player Allan Saint-Maximin during the break

Howe will also try to get the most out of star player Allan Saint-Maximin during the break

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